This is the library museum
Even if librarians are educated to weed out they should keep enough to make it possible to reconstruct the history of librarianship. That is sometimes a problem. In Sweden there is often better records from libraries managed by popular movements than from municipal public libraries.
After all there is a need within librarianship to preserve its history, and that not only concerning printed material. We need to see what old libraries including there furnitures, lending-systems, media-stocks etc looked like. This is of course easiest to attain concerning small libraries. The Swedish popular libraries were for long very tiny and were gradually developed into public libraries in the anglo-american sense only during the first half of the 20th century.
In 1989 there was founded a Society for a Library Museum in Borås after initiatives from The Swedish School of Library and Information Science. The most important member of the board has been the city and county librarian in Borås with his good connections to the granting authorities. The Swedish Library Association and the National Swedish Federation of Adult Educational Associations are also in the board. The first task for the society was to make an inventory of left library accessoires in the county that Borås belongs to. The result of the inventory was later used to build up the museum.
In 1994 the Library Museum was opened in premises that earlier had belonged to Borås Public Library. The museum has a permanent exhibition showing travelling libraries, parish libraries, study circle libraries within the Good Templars, workers, farmers and revivalists movement. It also shows different systems for acquisition and lending and the process through which the precursors of our public libraries were developed into public libraries in the anglo-american sense.
We have also had occasional exhibitions such as Esperanto as a subject within the study circles and Schnapps and libraries. The last one is a subject with many implications. The museum gathers different kinds of materials concerning public libraries and their percursors such as books, pamphlets, photos and films. On 14 October 1996 we asked library staff in public libraries to write a diary. We got more than 400 contributions from more than a houndred of our 288 local communities, some of them with photos. A book based on that material (60 diaries) was published in 1998. The book is called "En dag i biblioteket". You can buy it from the museum for 200 SEK.
In 1948 Sweden got its first book-mobile and that in Borås. An exhibition about that has been produced by the museum in cooperation with the book-mobile group within the Swedish Library Association. In 1999 the museum together with the Library Association and the Swedish School of Library and Information Science did celebrate the 200 years anniversary of our public libraries with a seminar in Borås 14-15 september. Our first parish library was founded in 1799.
Financially the museum is weak and important is that the local community pays for the premises and a librarian on half time. Other occasional staff is paid by state unemployment means. Besides that we use to get about 10 000$ every second year from the County Council, State Board of Cultural Affairs or the Library Assoiciation for special projects and working expenses.